Thursday, October 06, 2005

Yes, but a gift from whom???

A Washington Post article yesterday reporting on the Bishops' Synod in Rome (Controversial Issues Coming to Fore at Bishops' Gathering) ....

Apparently, among other things, they discussed the issue of Eucharist for divorced and remarried Catholics. Now, I didn't realize that this was something that was actively being practiced until I was getting things going with my students this year, asking them about their faith backgrounds, and several were saying how they don't go to church anymore because their mom has been refused communion, or they ask me why that is. And my sense, from how they've described it, is that it's not just a case of Mom knowing the rules and thus not approaching communion, but that it's something that's been enforced from the outside.

I just can't imagine approaching the Eucharistic Minister and them saying, nope, sorry, you're not good enough. For one thing, don't they have better things to do than memorize the cool/fool list? I remember being so proud of my hometown cardinals at election time when they both said that it's not for us to determine where someone is in relationship with God, that communion is not the place for sanctions. Of course, I had my own issues with the withholding because someone allowed the possibility of an unborn child's death, but the governors who actually decide on someone's death are completely cool to receive ... but I've posted that before.

From the end of the article:
Bishops also took up the issue of letting Catholics who divorce and remarry take communion, the briefers said Tuesday. Under Catholic teaching, those who remarry can receive communion only if their first marriages have been annulled by the church. Pierre-Antoine Paulo, bishop of Haiti, said, "We have to ask ourselves whether in particular cases, as already happens for certain sinners," communion "could not be given to remarried divorcees."
Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, New Zealand, said, "There are those whose first marriages ended in sadness; they have never abandoned the church but are currently excluded from the Eucharist."
[Venice Archbishop Angelo Scola, who functions as a kind of master of ceremonies at the synod] did not respond directly but noted that communion was a "gift" and not a "right."

Yes, of course communion is a gift. But, silly me, I thought it was God's gift. What was I thinking?!?!?


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